Edited by Leon Stokesbury
Checked out 1 time in 11 years
This anthology is a marvelous treasure. It contains poets both nationally known and well-respected as well as those relatively unknown. Although there’s an academic bias, it otherwise contains a wide variety of perspectives and voices. The editor’s notion of “southern” stretches from Virginia to Texas, reaching as far north as Kentucky and Missouri. Thus this anthology covers a lot of territory and a lot of poets (66 in all). Most poets are represented by several poems. This is a wonderful anthology for any library to have but I would say that every library in the South should have one on its shelves because it does such a superb job of collecting both poets from the region and poets prominent at a particular period of time (mostly mid-80s to 2000, though some reach back to the 60s). This is a book to keep on the shelves as long as it holds together.
The only criticism I have is the book’s title, which remarkably dry for a book of poetry and gives the impression it’s more about writing poetry than an exhibition of poetry. This title speaks to poets but not likely to anyone else and so the book’s publisher falls into the trap of marketing poetry primarily to poets when in fact this volume is full of poetry that could be enjoyed by many people.